The growth in organic products over the years has been exponential. What was once just a few shelves at the supermarket now amounts to more than $39 billion in annual sales*. Yet even as the demand increases, still only about one percent of all farmland in the U.S. is used to grow organics.
Bees may be small, but they are one of the hottest topics in sustainability today. And rightly so, as pollinators are necessary for about 80 percent of all crops used for food worldwide. Realizing the impact of disappearing bees on their bottom line, dozens of companies have joined the fight to educate and activate consumers on the plight of the bee, including Häagen-Dazs, Whole Foods and Burt's Bees. Now a new company initiative seeks to move beyond consumer engagement, going straight to the source to help bees.
This week will mark three years since the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013, an event known as the deadliest in the history of the garment industry. The tragedy took the lives of more than 1,100 garment workers, brought the consequences of fast fashion to a global audience and put the fashion industry's fundamental supply chain issues under the microscope and into the public conversation.
It may seem like a small thing, but single use plastic straws have a big environmental footprint. In fact, more than 175 billion straws are filtered into landfills and litter the oceans each year...
Taking a fledgling company from startup to viable business isn't easy. In fact, 90 percent of all startups fail, according to Forbes. And although many entrepreneurs may be focused on getting by with the bare minimum until the business gets off the ground – a new school of thought is being championed by some of the world's most successful business leaders, advocating for CSR to be built into the business model from day one.
As more companies seek ways to assess holistic impact across the value chain, the concept of circular economy is quickly becoming the next big thing in sustainability. Now more than ever, companies are starting to take notice and are striving to close the loop, including UPS*, which is helping to bridge the gap by optimizing smarter, more sustainable logistics.
The growing and urgent rallying cry from people around the world to address critical global issues reached a fever pitch in 2015. From star-studded events like the Global Citizen Festival (headlined by Beyoncé, Coldplay, Stephen Colbert and others to take a stance against poverty), to the hundreds of thousands of individuals who took to the streets just two weeks ago at 2,300 separate climate marches, there's no denying a heightened level of awareness, activism and enlightenment around the world's acute social and environmental issues.
Adele's not the only voice you'll hear from "the other side" if you listen closely this week.
That other sound you'll hear – if you'll just pause Hello for one moment – is the buzz of thousands gathering across the pond, in Paris, for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21). It's a buzz so electric, you can almost feel it.
Late last month the United Nations approved the Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs), the most comprehensive and ambitious set of 17 goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.
As business leaders from across the globe convene in New York at Climate Week, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit and Clinton Global Initiative to solve some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues, many look to the Millennial generation as the nation’s growing influencers and social champions. And although Millennials are universally more engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, that’s not nearly the end of the story.
Recently, many companies have opened their doors to competitors in an effort to solve some of the world's more pressing social and environmental issues...
As the demand for transparency in corporate responsibility efforts increases, the pressure is on for organizations to find inspiring ways to reach consumers. More and more, companies are taking to bold call-outs to raise awareness of sustainability issues...
Product take back has been a hot sustainability topic for the past year, with brands like H&M, Levi's and even Overstock.com spearheading clothing recycling programs to address post-consumer waste. Yet, oftentimes large amounts of waste are produced before clothing even hits store shelves. One company is determined to change that, innovating to create a less wasteful process while at the same time creating a superior product.
Companies are taking a number of approaches to address the issue of air pollution -- from Coca-Cola's billboard that absorbs pollutants to IBM's Green Horizon program to improve air quality management in China. Yet, it can oftentimes be difficult for consumers to grasp this invisible threat. Now one major company is harnessing an existing resource to help individuals understand the pollution around them every day, and how small decisions can ladder up to greater impact.
Leading up to this year's UN General Assembly in September and UN Climate Change Conference in December, action/2015 has made a goal to ensure leaders set and fund ambitious goals to tackle some of the world's most pressing issues. To do this, the coalition of more than 1,600 organizations looks to amplify its voice by harnessing the power of both digital and celebrities to motivate the masses to action.
As CSR reporting season comes to a close, many communications executives may be breathing a sigh of relief–but the opportunity to leverage this amazing content may be just beginning. In fact, although 82 percent of Americans expect companies to report on the progress of social and environmental efforts, only 17 percent say they have actually read a CSR report in the past 12 months.
When it comes to raising awareness for important causes, the phrase "walk a mile in their shoes" may be easier said than done. Yet, oftentimes helping consumers experience issues can be the most eye-opening information of all. One food brand is doing just that – transforming grocery stores into food deserts.
As companies race to solve some of the most pressing social and environmental issues, sometimes collaboration, even among competitors, is key. We've seen unlikely partnerships evolve between brands like Target and Walmart or Pepsi and Coca-Cola in an effort to more quickly and efficiently address issues. Now, an influx of car companies are making their patents available to all, in the name of accelerating sustainable progress for the industry as a whole.